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Should I marry him or not?


browneyed

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I have been dating my boyfriend for the past ten years. I am now 25 and he's 26 (Steve). We've dated since highschool. We've been together for a long time, still not married at this point. We are living together. Why such the long wait?- well it has to do with one big issue- the family.

 

It's been ten year years now, and I am feeling that its about time we either close the deal here and get married soon (like with in the next 2 or so years) or just completely cut ties. I am looking towards the future and I know that I want a family and kids someday. And I am feeling that we either should decide to make it happen or just forget it. If I am not going to marry him, then I can't put more time into this relationship any longer- ten years is enough.

 

My issue isn't so much about getting my boyfriend on board, in fact he wants to also. Of course his concern is our finances and he wants to make sure that we have enough money to start out. But I know that he does want to get married. and I am ok with getting engaged for a few years till we save for a house and all. BUt I just don't want to keep waiting if in the end it doesn't actually happen.

 

About Steve and I

We both graduated from college, he's working full time making a decent living about 38K. I am working full time and just a semester away from finishing my Masters degree. I am also making a decent living- over 42K. I have little debt, I earned a full scholarship to go to college and now my company is paying for my masters. We are both very responsible. We have been living together for about a year now. I've always figured that living together was a good test. So far I feel that we get a long great managing the daily chores together and bills. Steve is very loving and sweet to me. When ever he cooks me dinner after a 14 hour day, I'll clean the kitchen. We share and split things up nicely. He's thoughtful and conciderate.

 

However, like any realationship it hasn't always been rosey. Over the years we've battled through the tough times. Towards the end of college we were sort of on/off a lot. We both took breaks from each other and even dated other people. This type of thing happened for a few years.

 

For almost a year now, things have been steady and good with us. I look at it as us moving in and out of sync with each other. We were both two independent people growing and shifting as the years went on- so of course we were going to have rough patches. But things are good now and its about time in my mind. We both want to start thinking about the future.

We have one big problem though, and it's been one of the root causes to most of our issues all along.

 

The Problem

OUR FAMILIES HATE ONE ANOTHER.

 

It all started with my parents, they thought Steve was another punk teenager come to threaten the prospects of their perfect daughter. They said that dating him would ruin my life. I'd get pregnant or drop out of college, that he'd cloud my head with nonsense. back in highschool, they felt that we were getting too close so demanded that I not see him anymore. Now that I look back, they grounded me virtually for the last two years of highschool, because I kept disobeying them. What 16 year old girl wouldn't!

 

Anyway, my parents basically have hated Steve ever since. Their dislike for him only grew over the years, and anytime Steve and I were fighting over something, my parents obviously would feed off that. They would cause arguments between me and Steve, and I would get the "I told you so, he's no good."

 

Now, at times Steve was no angel, he and I did have issues between us at times. Especially in college- we both started to grow into individuals and but heads. Although we went to different schools and we still tried to visit each other as much as possible. We were only an hour apart from one another. Even though I was away at school, some how my parents managed to still mentally torture me and cause arguements between me and steve .](*,)

 

Anyway, my parents hate him basically cause to them "He's just not good enough" and it probably has a lot to do with the pent up frustrations from me not obeying them.

 

Over time, Steve's parents started to hate my parents for not accepting him. Then they started to resent me, cause they felt that I wasn't standing up to my parents. But I was. I tried talking to my parents. I tried talking calmly. I tried compromising with them, rationalizing with them. Nothing has worked. When I was in highschool, the arguments with my parents got very heated and physical a times. I ended up with bruises and marks around my neck and face. Since then, there hasn't been any abuse like that.

 

BTW: Steve is a very good guy. I could've brought home a far worse guy. He's not a drug addict, a motorcycle maniac, he's not a womanizer, not someone else's Baby's daddy or something- whatever. You get my point. (no offense to bike riders He's a clean cut guy from a nice family, works hard, smart and intellifent, and loving.

 

And to defend myself here, I am also a nice straight laced kind of girl. I didn't ruin my life, like my dad swore I would do If I dated Steve. I didn't end up pregnant, or drop out of college. Why can't they just see that we're happy together.

 

What do I do now?

So my parents don't know that Steve has been living with me, or that we've been seeing each other. I have basically never been allowed to bring up his name. Before, I was telling them that I was on dates with other guys (which was true before) but now I am with Steve. I am just telling them that I am single and not seeing anyone. My mom keeps badgering me to find someone to marry soon- that I should be dating since I am young now. She doesn't know though that I am back with Steve.

 

So how do I tell them that I am seeing Steve, that we're living together, and that we're serious about getting married soon.

 

I just don't want to lie to them anymore. But I know that as soon as I tell them, they're going to go balistic. My mom and dad before have stated they have no problem never talking to me or seeing me again. They're ok with writing me out of their life.

 

In the past I was scared of what would I do with out my parents. They threatened to take my scholarship money away and do all sorts of things so that I would have to be dependent on them. But now i am grown young adult, I can support myself, I have a good head on my shoulders. I don't need their roof over my head anymore, and I don't need them to support me.

 

But what I do need from them is their love. I want them to love me and be happy for me. For what I've accomplished so far in life and for finding someone to love. I would want them there at my wedding someday and to be the gradnparents to my kids someday.

 

What about rest of my family?

If I tell them, I am also afraid of how it will affect my two brothers Charlie (24) and Chris (16). In the past my brothers have gone back and forth on my parents side. If they felt that my behavior was causing problems for my parents, my brother would side with them. Most of all I don't want to loose my brothers. They're everything to me.

 

My brother Charlie age 24 is still living with my parents. He graduated college about 2 years ago, and is working to pay back his loans and save to move out on his own. Right now he has been dealing with a similar situation as mine. His senior year of college, he brought a new girlfriend home for Christmas. Her name is Mai, she's smart, polite and friendly. She's also Asian. To me, i have no problem with this. I think she's very nice. My mother however is not a fan. Lately, my mom and brother have been feuding a lot cause my brother has been talking about wanting to marry Mai someday.

 

I am hoping he will have some sympathy for me now, since he is going through a similar situation. But I don't know. He might not be so understanding. He once told me "my situation with Mai is not as bad as it is with you and Steve, cause me and Mai are older than when you and steve started dating."

 

I was like- What?!!! what does that have to do with anything??? He thinks I am more wrong because I disobeyed my parents when I was a teenager. He's feuding with my parents now, but he conciders himself an "Adult" so its ok or something. Some adult he is- he still lives at home! OMG! My brother's logic is stupid if you ask me. ](*,)

 

By the way, Chris is my little brother, he's 16. And just a year and half ago started dating his first senrious girlfriend, Faith. She's a doll, very nice and sweet as well. And it turns out that my mother LOVES her! They bake cookies together, go shopping, she even allows Faith to sleep over the house on weekends, but she make them sleep in differnet parts of the house. It's like night and day. My mother hates my boyfriend, but loves Chris's girlfriend. So i know she has it in her to be accepting of one of our significant other. Just not mine- ha!

 

Bottom Line do I tell my parents I am back with Steve, living with him, and want to marry him soon? Will my brother Charlie take their side?

 

What if they disown me at that moment? Do I continue to move on with my life with Steve or just cut it off with him for good? After all- family is important and maybe it's a sign that things will only be worse later on if I do decide to marry him. Are they just trying to look out for me?

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You're a 25 year old woman. You don't need your parents' permission to do ANYTHING.

 

Time to cut the apron strings and start living like a full adult.

 

It's not your job to appeal to them. You can live without them, if you have to.

 

Your parents will never stop trying to control your life - until you stop LETTING them.

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If I was a member of a family that would disown me for my choices in life, I'd disown them first. Your family sounds pretty self-serving in their attitudes and actions.

 

If I were you I'd tell them the truth, and decide how much I wanted them as part of my life based on their reaction. I would NOT let them or their reaction dictate whether I get married or not... that is between you and Steve, and IMO family has no bearing whatsoever.

 

My father has always blamed my wife for "stealing" me away from him (she sort of did, as she showed me what family life is supposed to be like). My wife's family loves me and hates my father because they know he was abusive to me. When we got married they all behaved (shocking from my family.. I knew my wife's family would be fine as they actually have social skills, tact, and etiquette), and nobody in either family said a word to the other family.

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Does it help to hear that it sounds like your family is dysfunctional? That you are too intertwined in them and what they want, especially for someone 25 and almost a Masters and a $42k salary?

 

Therefore, it's kind of your duty to break the cycle and choose healthy actions.

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If you want to marry Steve then by god get that church booked or whatever and marry him. You only have one life and we are supposed to be happy in it, so if your parents and steve's parents cant be happy for you, then get married anyway and be happy!

 

Eventually they will come around to the idea, and if they don't, well so be it.

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Your parents are still trying to control their children and their children's decision well into adult life, which is wrong of them. They are manipulative if they keep putting you in a 'choose him or us' position, because withdrawal of love or support should not be something that is used as a bargaining chip to control someone else.

 

They have to let go, and obviously don't want to. I could understand if your boyfriend was a drug addict or scofflaw, but if he's a normal responsible adult, this is about them trying to control you and make decisions for you and they are wrong.

 

Yes, they could disown you if you marry him, but you might also find if you dump your boyfriend that no matter who you choose, unless they first make the choice, they will treat any prospective suitor the same way. Some parents think nobody is good enough for their child, because the real problem is they don't want the child to grow up and leave the family circle for a family of their own.

 

So if i were you, i'd make the choice that you think is best for you in terms of choosing a spouse, and if they don't like it too bad. If you cave to this, they will be trying to control you til the end of time. If letting them do that is more important than you choosing your own husband, then of course you'd have to make the opposite decision. But you may really regret letting your boyfriend go and never find someone you get along as well with. There must be something really special to you about him, or you wouldn't still be with him 10 years later.

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Your family should accept whatever decisions you make in your life. It's your life. My parents didn't always like the guys I dated but they stood by whatever decision I made because they realized it was MY LIFE. Not to mention I think I've always given off the vibe that I didn't care even if they did support me, I'd go it alone if I had to. Luckily they never made me. But your family needs to realize that. It's not up to you to change things in your life just to make them happy. It's about your happiness.

 

Ten years is a long time. You both want to get married. You both are obviously committed to one another. You two have managed to stick it out through some "growing pains". I would say stand up for what you want and do it. Your families either support you or leave you the heck alone. This is not about them.

 

As for the whole house thing and what-not before your married. Sounds to me like you two already have a good financial situation and a good home life. Nothing will change after marriage. You get your house when you get it. I married first and then bought my home a couple months later. Don't stand behind that as an excuse not to get married sooner rather than later. But to each their own. If that's important to you, then that's important to you. However I will say before starting a family my having my own house was a requirement,....so maybe it's a requirement for you in getting married. IDK I'm not you.

 

Tell both of your families they should support you and it's not their decision. That with or without their support this is the man you love and you two are getting married. They can choose to stand by your side at the wedding/walk you down the isle or not. But if they choose not to support you they'll regret missing out on those type of memories. I would flat out tell them no more bashing my fiance. Especially since you want a family. Hearing the Grandparents talk smack about their Dad would not be healthy for them. So your parents need to shape up or ship out. IMO.

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Oh and for your brother. He reminds me of my little sister who also still lives at home....I don't see her leaving there either. You could be mean like me and point his misfortune out and see how quickly he shuts up.....lol Darn,....that's not good advice.

 

OR you could sit him aside. Explain to him how he's feeling about his mate. And let him know that you would appreciate his support in this much like you support him. If he still decides to be immature, let him be. Hopefully he'll wake up eventually. If not it's his loss. But if your parents are pressuring him and his relationship too. Something tells me that he may be looking to you for some help through this too. Maybe you both should go to your parents together?

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I'll have to come back to this topic later because I only had time to skim things, but if your parents are still breathing down your neck about this guy you need to tell them to change their attitude and be happy for you in spite of their feelings for Steve. If they don't like it and can't be supportive of you in your life progression they can enjoy not seeing you or their grandkids either (or whichever effective threat you can level against them which you can see yourself carrying out).

 

This means they have to show both you and him respect and keep their poisonous opinions to themselves. Whether or not they like him they can at least be civil. If I heard my parents (theoretically, as I highly doubt they would do this) talking badly about my (future) wife in front of my (future) children, I would immediately leave and not be back for a LONG time. Such immature behavior is completely unacceptable and I would never tolerate it.

 

Blood is blood, and family is family. Don't confuse the two. There are people who I am not related to I would consider family and some who I am related to I wouldn't help if they came to me for it because they don't deserve that consideration, even with blood ties.

 

True family doesn't make you feel bad for your happiness.

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So how do I tell them that I am seeing Steve, that we're living together, and that we're serious about getting married soon.

 

IMO, just like that. Sit them down and say "I've been seeing Steve for x, we're now living together and going to be married soon. I hope you'll choose to be part of our lives, but I understand if you don't."

 

Then run like hell and wait for the fireworks to finish.

 

Waiting for a parents love and acceptance is the most soul destroying thing in the world when they don't want to give it but don't give up your life for it.

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I'm biased though everyone...

I'm the lucky guy who's fortunate enough to have this awesome woman in my life

 

Seriously though, she's not messing around...

Things have been really tough.

...and she's had to deal with WAY MORE nonsense then I have on the home front.

 

Thanks to whoever is giving her feedback though...

...we've reached the point where having some third-party influence is proving to be way more helpful for making her feel more sure of herself.

 

[i'm going to sit back and try not to say to much though]

(This is her thread, and she's going to benefit from getting as many opinions as possible)

 

-Steve-

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Waiting for a parents love and acceptance is the most soul destroying thing in the world when they don't want to give it but don't give up your life for it.

 

 

I agree with you. It's something that I've dealth with all my life. Maybe what you're saying has a lot to do with why I've been letting my parents control me all along. My brother Charlie and I were both adopted. We lived in an orphanage in Mexico, before my parents come along, adopted us, and brought us here. I was 4 and my brother was 3. I don't have any bad feelings towards my biological parents. I don't know much about them, but I do understand why they made the decision they did. As for my mom and dad now, I love them very much and just want to make them proud of me.

 

Something tells me all this paired with my mother's need to hold on has something to do with the root of all the controling behavior and why I haven't been able to break it.

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If it is affecting you this much, I really really recommend that you see a psychologist. Living with such dysfunction can do holy terrors to your psyche, for the rest of your life, if you don't deal with it. A good therapist will help you deal with the anger of the control, and let go of it, so you can go on and live a healthy life without worrying about pleasing them.

 

This book may not apply to you, but it did wonders for me, and I imagine half the people in the world can get something out of it - Healing The Shame That Binds You. It's about living in a dysfunctional family, and how it affects everything you do.

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If it is affecting you this much, I really really recommend that you see a psychologist. Living with such dysfunction can do holy terrors to your psyche, for the rest of your life, if you don't deal with it. A good therapist will help you deal with the anger of the control, and let go of it, so you can go on and live a healthy life without worrying about pleasing them.

 

This book may not apply to you, but it did wonders for me, and I imagine half the people in the world can get something out of it - Healing The Shame That Binds You. It's about living in a dysfunctional family, and how it affects everything you do.

If it is affecting you this much, I really really recommend that you see a psychologist.

 

Turnera, you are absolutely correct. In fact, I have seen a therapist back while I was in college. It helped me to come to the understanding that I can only change the way that this affects me. I cannot change the way my parents are handling this or their own deep setted issues. All I can do is try live happy and come to peace with how their actions affect me.

 

I used to be very stressed and torn over it. But since the therapy and since moving out of their house, I've been able to maintain my sanity better. Steve will tell you that I am much happier since moving out of their house. My parents house felt like a war zone, constant arguing with them.

But now there's more peace. I go to my parents house now and then mostly for Sunday dinner. We don't ever bring up Steve and basically they think he doesn't exist anymore.

 

Logically it all does make sense to me. They have no right to make me choice. And frankly its my fault for letting it go on this long. But I guess I just need the courage to stand up to them once and for all.

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